- Victims lured to invest small sums in crypto over time, then scammers siphon off the assets
- Delaware’s Department of Justice issued 23 entities with a cease-and-desist order
- In 2021, losses in pig butchering scams reached billions
Law enforcement authorities in Delaware have frozen accounts and wallets belonging to perpetrators of crypto scams, who lured victims to send them their crypto assets, CoinDesk reported.
In this case, it’s about so-called “pig butchering” scams, which are becoming increasingly common. The name comes from the idea of fattening the pig before killing it.
‘Fattening the pig’?
In crypto scams, malevolent entities chat up random people online. They build trust and eventually convince their victims to invest in crypto. Then, they siphon off their assets.
In pig-butchering, the scammer gets the victim to invest small sums in crypto over a long period of time. When the funds accumulate, the scammer siphons off the assets.
23 entities subject to cease-and-desist
Delaware’s Department of Justice issued 23 entities with a cease-and-desist order. These entities included accounts, wallets, and individuals, it emerged from a press release on Wednesday.
The move is part of a broader law enforcement initiative to put an end to pig butchering crypto scams. Attorney General of the state Kathy Jennings stated in the release:
Today’s order takes a first step toward protecting Delaware investors from the pig butchering scam by freezing funds at risk from further transfer by the wrongdoers.
Billions of dollars lost
In 2021, losses in pig butchering scams reached billions according to blockchain investigation agency Cipherblade.
This year, people have lost $185 million in crypto to romance scams so far.
The DOJ urged potential investors to exercise caution when talking to people online, especially about cryptocurrency transactions.